Worry

Worry…now that you are past the title “Worry” and still reading, let me ask what is bothering you? It isn’t easy to admit that we are worried about something, and even harder to stop it. I’m guessing that most of us know that worry is not good for our health, takes up time and energy that could be better used for something else, and is just in general the overall “bad guy” in our minds.

So, how do we “stop it?” Just saying, “stop it” doesn’t always work. Having a friend or loved one say the same thing doesn’t help either. However, there is help available.

Jesus said in John 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled,” which some modern versions translate, “Do not be worried and upset.”  I think the idea of “let not your heart be troubled,” includes the idea of “don’t let it stay that way.”

Life happens. Emergency Rooms are an unfortunate part of life. So are tow trucks, fire departments, and the list goes on and on. I don’t like to hear the Life Flight Helicopter fly overhead because I realize that someone is in a critical situation. Probably, lives either have just been or are about to be turned upside down, inside out, and tied in knots.  I want the ER, tow truck, fire department, Life Flight, etc. to be available if I need it, but I sure hope that I don’t need them today.

Life happens, and when it does, I tend to worry about the outcome. I’ve decided that I can’t stop the worry, but I’ve also decided that I don’t have to live there. Worry can sneak up and steal my day (or night) when I hear the helicopter or siren and I realize that life is happening for someone, maybe for me. But I don’t have to “live in worry.” But how do I stop the worry…how do I “let not my heart be troubled?”

Could it be that Jesus knew that it is nearly impossible for human minds to stop thinking about it? Whatever “it” we are thinking about, we can’t just stop “it.” We can’t think about nothing. We can, however, replace what is on our mind with a different thought. Is Jesus saying, “Replace the worrisome thoughts with something better?” I think so.

In the next sentence Jesus said, “You believe in God; believe also in me.”

One gentleman said in response to that statement, “That just sounds too easy.”  My response was that you’ll have to take that up with the author…I didn’t say it, Jesus did. But yes, it does sound easy, maybe easier than it really is. Believing in God goes beyond a mere mental agreement that He is…that He exists…that there is a God. I think that believing in God, as Jesus put it here, includes a child-like trust, not only that He is, but as this quote says;

When I walk to the edge of all the light I have and take that step into the darkness of the unknown, I believe one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for me to stand on, or I will be taught to fly.
— S. Martin Edges

In the text in John 14, after Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me,” He also said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you toMyself; that where I am there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Why would Jesus follow his plea for us to stop the worry by believing in Him, and then follow that with a promise of heaven?

I have a friend who likes to say, “It’ll be alright in the end. So, if it’s not alright, it must not be the end.”  While that sounds simple, maybe a bit too simple, there is a ton of truth in that. Most of the things that I have worried about have never happened. So, is that proof that my worrying helps? No, that shows me that worry simply takes up time and energy that could be better used for something else. Worry is just the overall “bad guy” in my mind.

Thought for the week…  “Let not your heart be troubled…